The virtual currency bitcoin is a hot topic. Prices at major domestic exchanges have soared, and it was reported that the price per bitcoin exceeded 2 million yen on the 8th. It was reported that the price had risen to 1 million yen on November 26, but it took about two weeks to suddenly double the price. Price increases are likely to continue, as Bitcoin futures trading began in the US this month.
Meanwhile, there are also incidents. Nice hash of Slovenia, which provides a mining environment for virtual currencies, revealed on the 6th that a hacker who had infiltrated its system stole Bitcoin from a wallet. The damage is said to be worth 64 million dollars about 7,260 million yen in market value.
When it comes to Bitcoin, words such as value spikes and bubbles often make headlines in news. From that point, many may think that it is an investment target, and that the Slovenian case is not related to them. However, not only the situation surrounding Bitcoin, but also its technology itself is drawing attention from various fields.
Bitcoin supported technology
Bitcoin, which is a virtual currency, is simply supported by a distributed ledger technology called blockchain. Bitcoin is not a physical passage, but records data about how much is issued and how much is paid by whom. All those payment records can be viewed by anyone. The ledger that records it can be called a blockchain. Before you start trading in bitcoin, you must know the cryptocurrency risks associated with it.
This technology is being considered for adoption by various companies and organizations, and is being investigated in fields such as finance, commerce, electronic contracts, and medical care. However, that huge amount of data would be a good target for malicious attackers. As the number of users of the environment and technology surrounding Bitcoin increases, not to mention Bitcoin itself, of course, some people will also consider abuse. The magnitude of the damage in that case may be enormous considering the scale of the bitcoin theft described above.
In the case of Bitcoin, there is a public key that creates the address used when sending Bitcoin, and a secret key that is known only to you as the PIN, but the private key is in the hands of others. In case of crossing, not only the public key can be grasped, but also the bitcoin balance can be freely transmitted from there. It should be noted that if you store virtual currencies in your PC or online, you may be vulnerable to hacking. In the case of Nice Hash, the contents of the Bitcoin wallet of the company have been stolen due to the payment system being compromised.
There are also cases where the threat has evolved with Bitcoin. For example, ransom ware, which has been attracting attention as a recent threat, has existed. However, with the ease of online payments, many malicious attackers have used it. WannaCry, which smashed in 2017, can be said to be one of the ransom ware that has become a big threat because it can connect with payment of bit coins.
In other words, even if you do not trade with Bitcoin, knowing the situation where Bitcoin is spreading in the world and the technology used for virtual currencies will help you know the cutting edge of security and protect yourself. It can be said that this leads to increased literacy.
To put it the other way around, if you think that Bitcoin is a story that you have no connection with, you may be the target of new cyber crimes. Of course, if you are thinking about or using Bitcoin, you can’t be ignorant.
In 2018, the issue of cryptocurrencies and the technology that surrounds them will continue to be highlighted. For deeper insight, read the McAfee Blog Cyber Criminals’ Next Target: Long-Term Targets
Next year, blockchain may also be introduced to finance, commerce, healthcare and potentially government services. These are fields where transactions are recorded permanently and are widely used in industries that are viewed by an unspecified number of users. Originally developed as the backbone of new cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, blockchain is widely available outside of these industries.